Missing little girl safe after being left with stranger


by Jason Volentine

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonvolentine


Posted on August 5, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 5 at 9:40 PM

PHOENIX -- The search for a 3-year-old girl is over after the child was apparently left with a stranger, according to a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department.

Sophia Esmeralda Martin was last seen with her biological mother's boyfriend, 30-year-old Ernesto Edmundo Buenrostro, on Friday.

"These two have had a past together that looks like it was quite violent," said Sgt. Trent Crump with the Phoenix Police Department.

As police were rushing to find Martin they said Buenrostro would tell officers where they could find the little girl but they never found her where he said she would be.

"I think that it's fair to say that since Friday he's been playing a scavenger hunt with the family," explained Sgt. Crump.

Martin eventually turned up in Phoenix with a stranger who claimed to know nothing about the situation.

Police are still searching for Buenrostro.

He could be charged with felony custodial interference or even kidnapping.

Buenrostro is 5 feet 8 inches tall, 165 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He has multiple tattoos including a tear drop tattoo near his right eye.

Ernesto had refused to return the child to her mother and made statements he might injure the child.

"He had indicated to the mother today that she would find her daughter in the somewhere in the desert," said Sgt. Crump.

Martin was last seen on the Friday in the area of 4300 west Jefferson Street in Phoenix.

Police said she was not harmed in any way.